The triathlon is one of the most grueling events in the Olympics. Here’s what the triathlon is all about, the rules and who may win at the 2021 Olympics.
Swimming, running and cycling, the triathlon has it all. The triathlon is a test of endurance that’s the younger brother of the 10-event competition, the decathlon. Tracing its roots back to France, where it evolved and has grown into a sport that’s gained attention and participants across the globe.
“Le Trois Sports” has many formats, including the famed Iron Man, but we’ll stick with the Olympic format for this breakdown.
How does the Olympic triathlon work?
The Olympic Triathlon didn’t make its debut until the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where this particular variant is a full 51.5 kilometers (31.93 miles) of endurance. The race consists of swimming, followed by cycling and finally running. Better Triathletedescribes it as double the distance of a sprint triathlon, which means you have to have strong legs, and even stronger lungs.
Traditionally, the triathlon is traditionally held separately between women and men, but this year it will be a bit different with the incorporation of a new component into the Olympic event.
The new adjustment to the Olympic triathlon: mixed relays
This year’s triathlon will incorporate a mixed relays component, meaning that the women and men will participate together. The rules are the same, but split between teammates, giving each athlete the ability to swim for 300 meters, cycle for eight kilometers and run for two kilometers.
The Olympics state it provides unity between male and female athletes alike, all while encouraging teamwork with a dash of companionship on the way.
So who should you watch for in the 2021 Olympics?
Team Great Britain has the bragging rights in Silver and Gold, but keep an eye on Team USA. NBC Sports mentions Katie Zaferes, who’s currently ranked No. 1 in the world and will be joining the five-member team In Tokyo.